Red states sue Interior over methane rule

By Niina H. Farah | 04/26/2024 06:53 AM EDT

The legal challenge aims to overturn new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas drilling on public lands.

Flares burn off methane and other hydrocarbons at an oil and gas facility.

Methane flares burn at an oil and gas facility. David Goldman/AP

North Dakota and three other Republican-led states are suing to block an Interior Department rule that revamps methane regulations for fossil fuel drilling on public lands.

The states wrote in their complaint filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota that the rule from Interior’s Bureau of Land Management was trying for a second time to improperly step into EPA’s shoes by finalizing “sweeping greenhouse gas emission controls” after a federal judge blocked an Obama-era version of the rule in 2020.

“Other than being less careless with its language this time, very little has been done to change the Rule since the last time it was vacated, and none of the key legal infirmities have been fixed,” the states told the court.


“If anything,” the states added, “this variation of the Rule is brazenly more unlawful than the one previously vacated.”